Levante will look to pile further misery on Real Madrid when the two sides meet in the La Liga on Saturday.
Real Madrid already find themselves five points behind joint-leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Despite showing some good form in the Champions League - they beat FC Copenhagen 4-0 on Wednesday - Real have struggled for consistency in La Liga this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid teammate Angel Di Maria celebrate a goal against FC Copenhagen in their Champions League game, October 2
The 1-0 loss to crosstown rivals Atletico at the Bernabeu last weekend will still be hurting Real and if Levante find a way past Carlo Ancelotti's men, the gap to the top could be an alarming eight points.
To avoid such a situation, it is important that Real find their mojo in the La Liga. "Levante is difficult in their stadium and we need to play a very intense game to win," Ancelotti said. "It's a tough match and we have to be focused because we've already had problems with similar squads like Villarreal and Elche."
In many ways it's a pressure-free game for Levante, who are on a six-match unbeaten run and comfortably placed in ninth. So, the onus will definitely be on Real to go out to the Ciudad de Valencia and find a way past the home side, something they have struggled to do with any sort of consistency this season.
"It's worrisome if we play every game like we did against Atletico,' Ancelotti admitted. "I think that we'll play better in our next matches. We'll start playing more naturally and we have the chance to close the gap."
Team News: Ancelotti will have to do without the services of Gareth Bale, who is ruled out for two weeks, while Xabi Alonso remains a long-term absentee.
Angel Di Maria, who impressed with two goals against Copenhagen will take Bale's place and Ancelotti had a few words of praise for the Argentine winger. "He's doing very well," the Italian said. "He netted twice the other day and played in a more advanced position. His skill is that he can play in several positions and that's why he is so important. He's versatile."
Levante will have to do without the services of Nabil El Zhar and Pape Diop, who injured his knee in training earlier this week.
Where to watch
The match is scheduled for an 11.30 p.m. (IST) start with live telecast on Star Sports 2. You can also catch the game online by clicking the official link HERE.
Expected lineups: Levante: Navas, Rodas, Vyntra, Garcia, Lopez, Lell, Simao, Xumi, Ruben, Ivanschitz, Diawara.
Real Madrid: Lopez, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Illarramendi, Khedira, Isco; Di Maria, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Prediction: 4-2 to Real Madrid
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